2018 “Battle of the Badges” Saturday on the U.S.S. Midway

Everything is in place for this memorable show – the 15th Annual CYAC Battle of the Badges

On Saturday evening, June 16, 2018, the San Diego Chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association, the Community Youth Athletic Center (CYAC) plus the countless volunteers will host this year’s “Battle of the Badges XV” on board the U.S.S. Midway. For the participants, it’s a once a year athletic competition for local law enforcement, firemen, and military personnel who lace up their gloves to battle it out in the squared circle with the intent of #1, coming out victorious, and #2, raising funds and awareness for the local Community Youth Athletic Center.

The National City CYAC, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with humble beginnings that can be traced back to this backyard gym consisting of a single punching bag, pairs of old boxing gloves, plus a homemade boxing ring. It has certainly come a long way. Today it is located at 1018 National City Boulevard where it houses an Olympic caliber boxing gym, computer facilities, and a tutorial/mentoring center. Over the past 15 years, CYAC has been doing a commendable job of dedicating its services to assisting at-risk youth through physical fitness, academic enrichment, and mentorship programs while also providing them an opportunity to compete in Olympic and professional level boxing. Currently, CYAC serves youth eight to eighteen years of age and can accommodate up to sixty members per day. For those struggling in school, the center has an on-site tutor to provide homework assistance plus college counseling. After recent donations from cultural institutions like the Old Globe Theater, the youngsters have even begun to take a greater interest in the Arts. 

While CYAC’s success is due in large part to the dedication of its Board of Directors, Executive Director, parents and youth members, without its volunteers, sponsors and donors, CYAC would not have been able to make the impact that it has made. Their yearly “Battle of the Badges” show is CYAC’s marque fundraiser and its success is vital to the center’s ability to serve the community. Tickets for this “Battle of the Badges XV” boxing extravaganza can be purchased either at the event or online. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase. CYAC looks forward to seeing you aboard the U.S.S. Midway which is now in port at 910 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, Calif. 91910

No need to worry about purchasing a wide brim hat or splashing yourself with sunblock. This is an evening event with the DOORS OPENING at 6:00 p.m. and the FIRST BOUT beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Well, that was your official invite. Now, here is some more info to consider. If you weren’t already aware of it, these annual Battle of the Badges Boxing Shows are classics and when you have it taking place on board a Naval Aircraft Carrier like the U. S. S. Midway, it’s a history buff’s dream. If you’ve never been on one of these big ships, it is truly an eye-opening experience. Plus, it’s anchored right there on North Harbor Drive in San Diego’s Downtown. The ship is practically parked in your backyard.

This is not only a Boxing show, it’s also a meeting of San Diego’s who’s who coming together to see fighters with some fascinating storylines. And, they all come prepared after training conscientiously for six long months. They are the neighbors you rarely get to meet because they’re always so busy. They are the dedicated members of your local police and fire departments. They work for the Border Patrol, they’re EMTs, correctional officers, members of the various branches of the Military, et cetera. Plus, they always give it their all as if they were fighting for a World Title. With the colorful nicknames they’ve chosen, it makes you wonder if they aren’t direct descendants of PT Barnum, the so-called greatest showman of them all.

Since SportofBoxing.com has covered a great many of these shows, we can attest you’re in for a fun experience. Who can forget the Battle of the Badges XI show at the Sheraton featuring Rosalea “The Villain” Virata who had to battle Jeanna “The Dark Horse” Carrillo, a U. S. Marshal? 

The “Bout of the Night” on that evening featured lifeguard Chris “Bam Bam” Pharo and Border Patrol Agent Jay “El Verde” Vasquez, with one bearing a resemblance to Woody Harrelson while the other could have been mistaken for Junior Seau. 

There were several years when the National City Gym dominated the competition. During that period, they were led by heavyweight David Rodriguez, a San Diego police officer, who managed to defeat all comers even when they were gargantuan in size. Then, along came Marco Del Rio (top photo) of the San Diego Probation Department. Before Rodriguez had ever put on a glove, Del Rio had won the title three times. This was old school versus the new kid on the block. Throughout their contest, Old School neutralized his opponent’s power, had better head movement and countered well to win the early rounds and secure the close victory.

Soon after, Rodriguez decided to turn Professional and headed up the highway to the City of Angels (Woodland Hills) to fight this gentleman by the name of Errol Gill. Rodriguez ended up defeating Gill who at their weigh-in out-weighed Rodriguez by 30 pounds. That was Rodriguez’s last fight.

How hard is it to be the event coordinator/matchmaker for this show? At the beginning of the year, the event’s coordinator Clemente Casillas said he had four hundred plus people apply for this competition. It was his job to whittle that number down to 100 and then finally to 40. As of June 1st, Casillas had himself 10 rock solid match-ups with thoughts of adding maybe two Amateur bouts with all bouts being hotly contested.

Under the heading, everything seems to be going up in price: One of the shows regular attractions might be missing on Saturday. The demands from the C4KC Dance Troupe keep going up. First, they wanted the CYAC to buy them all the new American Girl Truly Me doll plus accessories. Then, they wanted all the brown M&Ms removed from the group’s candy dish, and finally, they want to increase their between round nap time.

How suitable is the USS Midway as a venue? The USS Midway flight deck is huge, you have plenty of room for most anything. Just ask any of 2006 San Diego Charger football players like LaDainian Tomlinson and his former Head Coach Martin Edward Schottenheimer who were among the Chargers who hosted not only a Press Conferences but a full practice with Philip Rivers throwing the ball sixty plus yards. While onboard this ship, you couldn’t help notice this juxtaposition of the football players feeling a noticeable admiration for the members of the Military.

Can you name any of the people in this photo collage? One of them was my former boss. And no, it wasn’t Shawne Merriman. Soon after Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer was fired in a shocking move by team president Dean Spanos, who cited a “dysfunctional situation” between the coach and the general manager A. J. Smith, less than a month after San Diego’s NFL-best 14-2 season was wrecked in a playoff loss to the New England Patriots.   

In conclusion, Saturday’s show promises to be yet another classic and since it only happens once a year, you have to go.  

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